Final

Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 1/29

Game 1: Saturday, January 29th
Nets99Final
Jazz82
Game 2: Friday, March 18th
Jazz80Final
Nets94

Jazz 80

(20-45, 7-27 away)

Nets 94

(30-36, 18-14 home)

    Coverage: FSRM

    7:30 PM ET, March 18, 2005

    IZOD Center, East Rutherford, NJ

    1 2 3 4 T
    UTAH 16 24 12 2880
    NJ 22 21 27 2494

    Top Performers

    UTAH: A. Kirilenko 15 Pts, 1 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 4 Blk

    NJ: V. Carter 23 Pts, 3 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    Vince scores 10 of his 23 in key third quarter

    EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- After easily dispatching the Utah Jazz, the New Jersey Nets turned their focus to a crucial target -- the Indiana Pacers.

    Vince Carter scored 10 of his 23 points in the pivotal third quarter, and Jason Kidd had 10 points, nine assists and eight rebounds to lead the Nets past the Jazz 94-80 Friday night.

    The Nets won their third straight to stay in reach of an Eastern Conference playoff spot. They next face the Indiana Pacers, one of the teams they hope to catch, in a home-and-home series starting Sunday in Indianapolis.

    "We've got to make the push," Carter said. "We're right there. We're right in the mix. I think the energy and the effort is there."

    The Nets will head into the showdown well rested, as Carter and Kidd sat out the fourth quarter with New Jersey firmly in command.

    "Any time Vince and I can have a fourth quarter off, it's good," Kidd said. "It means we're playing well."

    Travis Best had 14 points, Brian Scalabrine 12, Nenad Krstic 11 and Zoran Planinic 10 in the Nets well-balanced attack.

    Andrei Kirilenko led Utah with 15 points as the Jazz dropped their eighth straight game. Matt Harpring had 14, and Mehmet Okur and Kirk Snyder each had 12.

    "One of the toughest things to do is to stay focused," Harpring said. "You've got to take pride in your work, and we've got to get back to playing hard."

    Utah managed to keep the game close until midway through the third quarter when New Jersey reeled off 11 straight points for a 62-47 lead. Carter had six points in the run on a driving layup and four free throws.

    After Harpring scored for Utah, Scalabrine scored the next six points to give New Jersey a 68-49 lead. The Nets outscored the Jazz 27-12 in the period for a 70-52 advantage.

    "We're too quick to drop our heads," Curtis Borchardt said. "Right now, we don't have any confidence."

    The Nets sprinted to a 15-6 lead behind Krstic's six points and held a 22-16 lead at the end of the first quarter.

    The Jazz regrouped in the second, outscoring the Nets 24-21. Utah took the lead for the second time when Kirilenko hit an 18-foot jumper with 1:24 remaining for a 38-37 lead. Carter scored the next two baskets on a jumper and a dunk to put New Jersey back in front, and the Nets held a 43-40 lead at the half.

    Game notes


    Nets forward-center Jason Collins played in his 300th game. ... The Nets improved to 21-20 since Carter debuted on Dec. 27. ... Kirilenko, the league's top shot blocker, had four. ... The game was the fourth of a five-game road trip for the Jazz. ... Carter scored 20 or more points in 29 of his last 31 games.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    UTAH
    NJ
    Points 80 94
    FGM-FGA 31-66 (.470) 34-69 (.493)
    3PM-3PA 2-8 (.250) 3-8 (.375)
    FTM-FTA 16-22 (.727) 23-29 (.793)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 10-27 8-28
    Assists 23 26
    Turnovers 19 14
    Steals 8 12
    Blocks 5 3
    Fast Break Points 12 16
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 27 (0/0) 21 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 1 20

    Top Performers

    Utah
    New Jersey
    Andrei Kirilenko Kirilenko
    Points: 15
    Reb: 1
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 4
    Vince Carter Carter
    Points: 23
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 1